The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), on Monday, announced that it has so far registered about 21.4 million Nigerians into the National Identity Database and has issued them with the National Identification Number (NIN). The new enrolment figure was attained at September 6, 2017.
However, out of the 21.4 million Nigerians that have been registered and issued NIN, the Commission is able to produce only 1.2 million cards, and not all the 1.2 million cards have been issued.
Although it took NIMC five years to register over 21 million Nigerians, the registration process recorded increased speed in the last two years, from seven million registrations in November 2015, to 21.4 million registrations as at September 6, 2017.
The Head, Corporate Affairs at NIMC, Mr. Loveday Ogbonna, attributed the speed of registration in the last two years to the current harmonisation of existing databases from Bank Verification Number (BVN) enrollment and SIM Card registration.
According to Ogbonna, as at 2015, when the current Director General and Chief Executive of NIMC, Mr. Aliyu Aziz took over as Director General and Chief Executive, the NIMC enrollment figure was seven million, but explained that the figure jumped to over 21 million within a space of two years. He said the ongoing harmonisation of existing databases helped the Commission to speed up registration exercise for identity cards, since the commission was aligning with BVN registration to register and issue Nigerians with NIN.
Ogbonna also disclosed that the Commission had also setup more enrollment Centres across the 36 states of the federation and the FCT, bringing the number to about 805.
With the deployment of additional enrolment centres, Ogbonna said the NIMC is currently active in 556 Local Government Areas (LGAs), and is working to activate dormant centres in the remaining 218 LGAs in order to expand enrollment coverage. This, according to him, is in line with Azizâ€™s goal to register 28 million Nigerians into the database, by the end of December, 2017.
According to him, the Commission had continued to record exponential growth in the population of the database, despite the challenges facing the Commission, even as the country gradually exists recession.
In spite of the challenges and constraints, the Director General, he added, has continued to manage the scarce resources, to ensure that the database is populated before commencing enforcement of the mandatory use of the NIN for all identity based transactions.
The Director General had earlier warned that Nigerians who were yet to register and obtain the NIN issued by the Commission, run the risk of being regarded as non-Nigerian citizens in the next few years.
Aziz who gave the warning in Lagos during a press conference organised by NIMC, advised Nigerians that are yet to register, to do so without further delay.